The ‘Muntjac’, commonly known as the Barking Deer, is possibly among the most ancient deer species that roamed the earth, 15-25 million years ago. Fossil deposits of this amazing animal were found spread across France, Germany and Poland, an indication that it had adapted to extreme cold conditions too. It is also called the Kakad Deer in India. The reason for this name is its alarm call, which seems quite similar to the barking of a dog.
The deer is a subject of Evolution studies because of its chromosome variations – a unique feature of this shy and rare creature. This often solitary animal is rarely spotted in groups.
It’s active at twilight, and although it mostly lives alone, it still keeps in touch with other individuals, leaving a scent on branches, and produced using a special gland on its head.
Muntjacs are shy and cautious by nature and live in heavily wooded areas. They are very difficult to find, let alone photograph. A sub-species, the Leaf Muntjacs, were discovered in 1999 and are the smallest deer known in the world.
In India, these are found in abundance across the country and possibly their densest population is in the BRT range followed by Nagarhole / Kabini forests